Tuesday, June 23, 2015

An itch that needed scratching...

A hiatus? Is that what this multiple-year absence of posts was? 

Well, if I am honest, I have been a bit busy with raising my four boys and teaching..and selfish with the free time I manage to find. 

This blog has been here...waiting, patiently, to figure out that I need to be back. I have spent my time doing other wonderful things, but...

I am discovering as I get older, that there are certain things about myself that just ARE. No matter what changes/challenges/experiences come my way, despite desires to learn new things, improve areas of weakness, there is always my passion for reading and writing  The written word, whether my own or others', is intricately woven into my being.

I can't help it -- it's my fun -- it's made me a better person and helped me understand others in a way that my own limited experience cannot.  And I want others to have that too. Authentically to love reading and writing in order to authentically love and understand each other.

Twenty two years ago, when I began teaching, I spent countless hours scouring the Claremont Graduate School's Children's Library for wonderful literature, checking out my 50 book limit every week. I wanted these students, MY students, to have books -- and lots of them. 

But there was a hint of, if I am raw and vulnerable, competition. I wanted to be the best reading teacher -- and the best first year teacher -- in all history. I thought I had it down.

Oh yeah, I have certainly learned that was not, nor ever will be, the case. There are always others who are innovating, discovering, and touching lives in ways I never, ever will. There is no BEST.

That maturity and realization has also brought a comfort, a pleasure, in finding what I bring to teaching in my own unique way. As I have released the need for myself to be the center of attention, characters have stepped up and wormed their way into reader's hearts.

This realization has come hand in hand with learning how to deal with teenagers. 

It's a tenuous line with them. How much to hang on, how much to model, and how much to release. And there's much more releasing -- which is TERRIFYING as a parent. 

But it's a good thing. A necessary part of them becoming who they are truly created to be. They are forging their own lives, connecting with others and operating in the  world in their unique way. 

Often they don't do very well...I cringe and shield my eyes (and heart) when they fail, flail, and use basic survival skills just to keep their heads above proverbial water. Sometimes though, I am humbled by how much better they do things than I would.

So that part is about me in the process of learning to get out of the way...

My boys and my students know, that I am firmly grounded in the belief that we were not put on the earth for ourselves. We were complexly designed to connect, and be in relationship, with others. 

All the brain research I have done recently (one of the many distractions that have kept me from blogging) points directly to this. Scientists and doctors are all abuzz about the mind/body/soul connectivity and how that is what brings wholeness, human to human. They've even allowed talk of spirituality in research data!

I know at this point you are wondering: "Where are you going with this? How in the heck does it all tie together? Maybe you should go back to that I-don't-have-time-to-blog mode...this is way too confusing."

Bottom line. I can't ignore how I am created. I was given a passion in this way -- to connect with others via reading/writing. Not a facebook/instagram/snapchat kind of way, but a deep, reaching connection.

I can show kids how to do it too.

It's actually a venue where I find really wonderful relationships with people. I let down my guard and just am. My eyes light up and my energy soars. I don't care about anything else but connecting with that person, right then. 

When kids read with me, we are in that moment together. When I write in front of them, I put "me" right there, in a vulnerable way, not a "be me" way. They in turn, trust that they can put themselves on paper too. 

And if there is that connection...

there is room for respect and genuine love.

There's no place for distrust, hate, or separation.

It's magic: it's communing, the way we are supposed to be.

No comments:

Post a Comment